`Killer` immune cells destroy body cancer

ANI| Last Updated: Aug 15, 2014, 15:55 PM IST

Washington: A new research has suggested that immune cells, known as natural killer cells could help in hunting down and kill cancers that have spread in the body.

The study showed that a protein called MCL-1 was vital for survival of natural killer cells.

Dr. Nick Huntington said that they discovered that MCL-1 was absolutely essential for keeping natural killer cells alive and without natural killer cells, the body was unable to destroy melanoma metastases that had spread throughout the body, and the cancers overwhelmed the lungs.

Huntington said that the natural killer cells led the response that caused rejection of donor stem cells in bone marrow transplantations and they also produced inflammatory signals that could result in toxic shock syndrome, a potentially fatal illness caused by bacterial toxins that causes a whole-body inflammatory reaction.

The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.